Wednesday, 29 February 2012

The Gallery – Friends

I took this photo on my hen do. Only my friends could make a trip on the duck tours the most hilarious outing ever... or maybe it was all that booze we had just drunk... Now I'm just waiting on some of them to hurry up and have babies so we can swap hen dos for play dates! 

This is my entry for the Sticky Fingers Gallery this week. I'm off to check out the other entries, they are always wonderful! 

What was the number 1 hit in the music charts when your baby was born?

I've been tagged! Thanks From Slummy to Yummy Mummy for making me feel loved!

So the rules of this meme are to cast your mind back to the wonderful day our little ones were born and post the number one song and album at the time... no I wasn't listening to the chart show either, I was scaring all the other mums in the hospital with my best screaming, so I had to look it up. As recommended I found out at Every Hit.

I love the results! Squiggle is destined to be 100% pure pop!

Number 1 single was:
"Everybody in Love" by JLS
I had forgotten but we actually used to sing this too her and change the lyrics! "All the mummy's in love, put your hands up" and so on, you get the idea! Silly but a nice memory to have back.

Number 1 album was:
Cheryl Cole
Eek not so sure about this one, doesn't bring back any memories of my daughter, just of Rufus Hound and his excellent 'fight for this love' routine.

What were yours?

I'm tagging these lovely ladies (if your up for it) and anyone else who would like to join in! x

Monday, 27 February 2012

The little things: 1

This is mainly for myself, the little things I don't want to forget!
So here are the things that have made me gush with pride this week:

1. She was playing with her alphabet stickers and brought an 'M' sticker to me in the kitchen, stuck it on my leg and said "I've found your letter Mummy mmm mmm mmm mmm mummy."

2. She made up some amazing stories with her own imagination which had us all in fits of laughter.

3. She was very sweet to a little girl in the playground, even after the little girl tipped stones over her head... twice!

And then the not so good...

1. She calle me a bossy boots.

2. She made up a song about Upsy Daisy's poo at the dinner table (although actually pretty funny).

3. She told tales on Daddy (also funny).

Saturday, 25 February 2012

Book Marks: Tiddler the Story Telling Fish

Tiddler the Story Telling Fish
Julia Donaldson, Axel Scheffler

I had walked past this in book shops so many times. When Squiggle was really small I had a quick look at the board book and the writing was so tiny I was put off without even reading it. I hadn't considered it since until my sister brought her the larger version of the book when she visited the other week. And that was it. We have been completely Tiddler mad ever since! 

It is a really charming story, just about the right length for my 2 year old, and entertaining enough for both of us. It tells the story of an imaginative little fish who is always making up stories to excuse being late for school, until he finds himself in a real life scrape and lost at sea. He finds his stories have travelled across the sea and he's able to follow his story home. It's really captured Squiggle's imagination, she's been making up wonderfully silly stories ever since! 

The rhymes are a little more sophisticated than some of her other books which is great for her language. Trying to put my finger on why she loves it so much, I think it must be down to Tiddlers slightly mischievous personality, the appearance of all her favourite ocean creatures, and the fact he gets 'stuck'. She loves things getting stuck and having to escape or be rescued, it's so funny! Is this a running theme with all toddlers or just mine?!

Whatever the reason she has absolutely fallen hook line and sinker for this tale (check me and my punns out). Our book came with a CD and I'd really recommend this version, we've listened to it lots in the car and she's enjoyed swimming around pretending to be Tiddler when listening to the game. Heck, we've even made the fish tank with the characters supplied in the back and it has given her a ridiculous amount of fun. Now that's a book that really delivers it's moneys worth!

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

My Landscape

My entry for Sticky Fingers 'The Gallery' this week

This is my favourite spot, it's no secret to the world but it feels like it is while you're there. Port Ballintoy Harbour in North Antrim, Northern Ireland. The quality of the photo's not great as I took it on a disposable camera (imagine!) but the landscape is still beautiful.

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Doing the happy food dance with Organix

Organix very kindly sent us some of their new 'Mini Cheese Crackers' to try out. I love the Goodies range, we never leave home without a snack to hand and their no junk promise really fills you with confidence that you are not giving your little one anything that's bad for them. Plus they taste good!

Here is what they have to say about their latest product:

"Our tasty organic cheese crackers are a great savoury snack - made with real organic cheese, they are yummy on their own or scrumptious with a dip.  And of course they come with our No Junk Promise, which means they only contain simple, organic ingredients and absolutely zero junk!  Each box contains 4 handy bags for little hands and the RRP is £1.99 per box."

And here's what Squiggle had to say... (um hope it works for you, this is my first attempt at doing a video and it has been getting the better of me!)

The crackers are a nice small size for little ones, so they can easily help themselves. My little girl loved them, she did the happy food dance and made all the right mm mm mmm noises. I put a couple on a plate for her and she soon tipped the rest out of the packet to finish them off. I think they would be quite filling too which a lot of handbag sized snacks don't tend to be. I obviously and happily had to try a couple myself and they taste great. They're not too cheesey and don't taste salty like a lot of cheese biscuits so shouldn't leave your little one thirsty. The packs are just the right size to pop in your bag but also for independent little ones to hold themselves. We took them on our day out to the theme park at the weekend, when the rain came down I was able to use these as a bribe to get her in her pushchair and under the rain cover, hurray! A big hit with both of us!! 

They are available to buy on the Organix online shop, Waitrose and Boots stores and are coming to Asda next month so well worth popping in the trolley.

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Toddler Towers

Roller coasters at Alton Towers, 2 year old style!

I was so excited the other week to find I'd won a family ticket to Alton Towers complete with hotel stay in Derby from the Jurys Inn facebook page. The more I thought about our trip there, the more I started to worry, was there enough to entertain a two year old... in February?! Back from our fantastic trip I thought it might be helpful for others thinking about going to write up a little review of our experience.

The answer, in short, was yes – there was plenty to do!

We have had such a fantastic family day out, there was oodles to keep squiggle very happy and because it was so quiet at this time of year daddy and I were able to take turns and quickly run straight on some of the big rides too. We went with a family day in mind and didn't expect to get a ride on Oblivion and Nemesis so what a bonus.

For the adventurous 2 year old we found...

Nutty Squirrel Ride – a slow little ride up in the tree tops but so good apparently, she had to go on it twice.

The Frog Hopper – mini magic carpet style ride that goes up and down... little ones can ride this with an adult (daddy squeezed on!)

Shark Bait Sealife Centre – we loved this! It's not huge but is really nicely done. Squiggle is 'under the sea' mad at the moment (perhaps thanks to her Tiddler book and The Octonauts) so we ended up spending quite a long time in here. We saw sharks, sting rays, jelly fish, and spent a very long time watching the sea horses. It was really raining when we arrived so this was the perfect place to hide.

The Carousel – Squiggle always bursts with excitement when she sees the carousel.

Wobble World – An inflatable indoor play area which I'm sure most children would love (and it was full of happy little ones) but squiggle has a weird fear of inflatables so not a hit for us.

Tractor Ride – Little tractors on a track that little ones pretend to drive, you go past some hens and ducks so is very lovely.

Animals – They have a donkey, some guinea pigs and rabbits, no petting area though, maybe they do this in the summer.

The River Boat – She really liked this, a little toddler sized boat floats down a river passing models of farm animals as you float. There are animal noise buttons to push too, hurray we just love pushing buttons!!

The Runaway Train – This was always my favourite as a child and at just over 0.9m Squiggle is just was able to ride it which made it a fun ride we could all enjoy.

And that was our day, we were there 10 till 4 and it was all go. We are going back in the summer and taking a picnic as that's the only thing our February trip was missing and we want to try out Charlie and the Chocolate Factory! Also I think there is an Ice Age 4D experience opening which sounds amazing. Glad we can still enjoy Alton Towers now we have a young family and the great thing is children are free up to the age of 4, scream if you want to go faster!

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Happy Valentines

Daddy's best ever valentines card, his words not mine
(worth breaking my no glitter rule for then!)

Embarrassing outfits

So here is my entry for this weeks gallery theme – Embarrassing Outfits.
I don't need to say too much about this one... at the time I felt it a genius way of keeping dry on a water ride... looking back at the photo evidence, pretty embarrassing!

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

The Gallery

 A Family Story

I've been following the gallery as a blog reader and really enjoyed it so now, as I'm getting my own blog together, I was eager to find out how you join the club! I was very excited to find The Sticky Finger's blog open and friendly, with a lovely invite to all bloggers to come and join in, hurray!

So here is my first entry,  I love the theme as it really made me think back through old photos and brought back lovely memories. This is one of my all time favourite pics, I think I took it when I was about 10 with my new camera (long before the days of digital cameras don't you know!) I love how it shows the three generations of men in the family, although they like to think they're pretty different, this photo tells a different story! Look at the concentration on their faces, they all share the same competitive streak when it comes to sports... the ladies of our family have long since learnt to opt out of games such as this!!

My Grandpa loved sports and didn't like to lose. I remember going to see him in hospital not long before he passed away (at the grand age of 92!) and he pretended he'd never played draughts before just in case I beat him... I didn't! He's left so many fantastic moments like that with me and photos like this bring them all back.

My best travel photo

This is my favourite travel photo which I took in St Lucia. These caterpillars were as big as my hand! I love this photo because of the interesting shapes they make in the moonlight and also because it sums up our time there... everywhere we looked we discovered new creatures and flowers we'd never seen before, it truly felt like paradise!

Flythomascook Photography Competition

Monday, 6 February 2012

Emma Talbot – the new face at John Crane Ltd

Look what we found at our house this weekend!

John Crane were offering mummy bloggers a chance to snap up a limited edition Emma Talbot print, I asked nicely and crossed my fingers and they were lovely enough to send me one! In my day job I'm a graphic designer and so one of my loves is great design and illustration. I'm a sucker for cute children's prints and beautifully illustrated books so I was excited to look Emma Talbot up! 

What I found was a passionate, fresh new illustrator with an evident soft spot for rabbits and using environmentally friendly methods. Her blog is gorgeous and warmly invites you in, I'd recommend a peak. I found Emma's designs just so lovable and I can see why she would be the perfect choice to work with John Crane toys.

Part of what we love about John Crane products is their beautiful attention to detail and topnotch design. Emma's illustrations will feature on some all new toys in the Tidlo range from puzzles, to cuddly plushes. The idea of her illustrations on puzzles is perhaps most exciting for us, my little one loves puzzling over jigsaws more than anything at the moment and I find it surprisingly hard to find ones with nice pictures. 

The print they sent us was very sweet and we were excited to get it through the post. Squiggle loves animals so she loved her little panda print and he is certainly going up on the wall. Bright and fun he's bringing extra cheer to those magnolia walls! A great taster for some exciting new products to come.

Thanks so much John Crane for choosing us to receive one, what a treat!! x

Thursday, 2 February 2012

My best ever holiday

I love holidays, who doesn't?! Getting away from it all and spending time with the people you really care about for once is about as good as it gets! Most of my favourite memories, which I'm sure will stand the test of time are from my holidays. Tots 100 and Al Fresco Holidays are running a competition asking you to choose your all time favourite, so here's mine... so when you've had a read head over to  to check out their fantastic deals!

A few years before our little one was born, and we were not long engaged, we took a trip to Sardinia. We were saving pennies for the wedding but I was determined to get my holiday! I had heard lots of good things and friends described the beaches as 'exactly like the Caribbean'. I didn't fancy my chances of getting to the Caribbean on our budget so it sounded perfect. Actually it turned out that it was quite an expensive destination itself, so we had to come up with a new plan. We booked some absolute bargain flights to Alghero ourselves and I found a campsite. I've always loved camping and growing up we did this a lot for our family holidays, I was just a bit worried what it would be like in the heat and if our tent would survive the flight!

San Teodoro
Our campsite was fantastic, right on the beach at San Teodoro which is on the east side of the Island. All the plots were in the shade so it wasn't too hot and it had a lovely peaceful air to it. The beach there is a gorgeous long expanse of sand, it was quite busy but I didn't mind that. As English tourists we were in the minority and it was mainly Italians holidaying there. I found it quite relaxing lying on the beach listening to Italian accents!! The people were so friendly and really proud of the Island, asking us, "what do you think of our sea, isn't it clear? How about the beaches?" Yes the sea was crystal clear and the beaches gorgeous. Oh and "have you tried the suckling pig?" sorry I wimped out on that one! 

A HUGE plus of being on an Italian island is indeed the food and wine. Ooooh boy!! I think we spent all the money we saved going out for dinner in the evenings, but San Teodoro had some great restaurants and I had the best meal of my life there. It's bustling in the evening with street markets open late, and lots of people meandering about. The idea of home cooked campsite dinners flew out of the window!

As our campsite was so close to the beach we used to head back at sunset, armed with a bottle of wine and two plastic glasses (classy I know!). By this point the place would be deserted and I felt everyone was missing a trick back at their hotels, it was so perfect.

Party time!
We hadn't realised when we booked it but there was a drum and base festival happening in that resort while we were there. When we found out my heart sank, it's not really my kind of music and I thought it would be a over-run with clubbers. But if you can't beat them, join them they say so we decided to go along a couple of nights and had a blast! It was held in outdoor clubs which were so chilled and fun and I was great to have a bit of a laugh and dance at night.

Knowing we'd have a fair amount of baggage and camping equipment with us, we hired a car which was fantastic as it meant we got to see more of the island. Every beach you want to was different, some with white sand, some red, some pebbles it's an amazing place! There's not as many cultural attractions that you might find on mainland Italy but Alghero is a beautiful old city with lots of streets and the city walls to explore.

We also visited the Costa Smeralda, the designer resorts where the celebs go apparently. They are lovely to walk around but we almost choked on our cokes when we found out how much they cost! I love walking round ports and deciding which boat I'd pick and what I'd name it. At Porto Cervo the boats didn't dissapoint, they are super yachts and some are unbelievably grand! Great to look at before you head back to your little tent :)

The best is yet to come...
So that was my favourite of holidays as a couple, but I really look forward to topping it as a family! It's a holiday I would love to revisit with my little one, we did some camping in September in Northumbria for our holiday. It was lovely cuddling round the fire but a little chilly for a 2 year old. I look forward to a holiday where she can run around in the sand and splash in the sea! xxx